Last week's Consumer Electronics Show put gaming gadgets on our minds. After all, we wouldn't be gamers if we didn't enjoy shiny electronic toys. Here's a list of ten quality gaming gadgets for 2012, ranging from portable gaming devices to useful accessories. Five of our gadget picks are available now, and five are upcoming devices that were stars at CES 2012. Enjoy!
Gadgets for Now:
Apple's iPad may be the reigning monarch of tablet computers, but Android devices are catching up. Android features a more open architecture than iOS, and the Android app library (including games) is rapidly growing. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is among the best of those tablets, sporting an even lighter and thinner profile than the iPad 2. It has a full HD display and a full-featured browser that includes Flash support—good news for gamers. Anyone looking for a full-featured tablet with good gaming and multimedia capabilities can hardly go wrong with the Galaxy.
The 3DS finally has a solid software library, and there's a nice-looking lineup of downloadable games coming out this winter and spring to tide us over until the next round of major releases. Plenty of 3DS owners have been disappointed by the battery life, especially when playing with the 3D up and wireless networking on. Lucky for us, this Nyko battery pack provides an elegant way to double the device's battery life. It attaches to the existing battery compartment and isn't too bulky—some users even report that the 3DS fits better in their hands with the Nyko pack attached.
Madcatz is generally known for creating off-brand gaming peripherals of dubious quality, but its Cyborg line seems to be defying that reputation. The R.A.T. 9 is the latest in the company's line of transforming mice, which can be easily adjusted to fit gamers of varying hand sizes. It's more than just a gimmick device, however: the R.A.T. 9 is extremely accurate and responsive, perfect for anybody who is serious about online PC gaming. In fact, the $130 price tag ensures that only serious gamers are likely to apply.
This wireless headset works for PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, and has excellent reviews from a variety of sources. The comfortable headphones have good noise cancellation properties and boast strong audio performance for not just games, but music and movies as well. It has strong construction and a removable mic for listening-only comfort. The downsides to this headset are the $200 price tag and a battery life that could be longer.
Amazon's Kindle Fire made a splash in late 2011 for introducing a color tablet/e-reader for $200. It's a great choice for gamers who also want great access to books and movies on their portable device. The Kindle Fire has access to the Android games marketplace, and has been praised for its interface and easy access to new apps and media. It's quite affordable for a tablet as well, making it a great choice for anybody who has been on the fence about tablet computing.